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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Politics and Issues

Club supports Proposition 1A to build high-speed rail

October 2008

By Stuart Cohen, Executive Director,
Transportation and Land Use Coalition

Sierra Club supports Proposition 1A, which would provide $9.95 billion dollars to begin the development of the 800-mile High-Speed Rail system and to make improvements to existing rail networks. Building High-Speed Rail will promote sustainable land use, significantly reduce global warming pollution, and get commuters off congested roads and out of crowded airports. While it is an extremely expensive project, adding the same capacity by expanding highways and airports would cost at least twice as much.

The fully completed high-speed train system would run between San Diego and Sacramento, with connections to the Bay Area. Trains would run at speeds of over 220 miles per hour, zipping from San Francisco's Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles' Union Station in two and a half hours.

High-Speed Rail will help to achieve the State's greenhouse gas reduction goals by replacing car and airplane trips with rail trips. By 2030, when the whole system is in place, rail travel is anticipated to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12 billion pounds of CO2 per year.

Over the past four months, Sierra Club and other organizations have worked to put important safeguards into the original bond measure, including protections for the Grasslands Ecological Area, allowing bond funds to be spent on improvements in the Altamont corridor connecting the Bay Area to Modesto and Stockton, and strong financial accountability provisions. At their September 2008 meeting, the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board approved a goal of using 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity to run the system.One of the most daunting challenges is the cost of the system— especially with our state budget in crisis. Although the price tag is very steep (over $30 billion to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles through the Central Valley), it pales in comparison to the cost of new highway and airport expansions. Caltrans estimates, for example, that it would cost $6 billion to widen Highway 99 alone from four lanes to six. Widening just this one highway to eight lanes, now being discussed, is estimated to cost at least $20 billion.

It is time to develop a zero-emission high-speed train system that propels California into the 21st century.

Vote YES on Prop. 1A.


CALPIRG forum on Prop 1A, the high-speed rail bond, at UCSC

CALPIRG has been organizing educational forums throughout the state on the environmental, economic, and quality of life benefits of high-speed rail. This election day, Prop 1A on the statewide ballot would authorize $9.95 billion in bond funds to start laying the tracks for a high-speed train connecting northern and southern California.

SANTA CRUZ:
When: Monday, October 27th, 12pm
Where: University of California, Santa Cruz (RSVP and we'll send you the exact location)
Speakers include: Rod Diridon, High-Speed Rail Authority Board member and Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute
    Robert Cruickshank, High-Speed Rail blog

Please RSVP and direct questions to .




section title

2014

Current
2014 endorsements, September 2014


2012

Current
June 5 Election Endorsements
April 2012


2011 legislative session mixed
December 2011


November 2011 candidate endorsement
October 2011


Club continues its State legislative advocacy
August 2011


2010

November 2010 General Election ballot propositions
October 2010


November 2010 General Election candidate endorsements
October 2010


Proposition 23 on November ballot would suspend our clean energy law
August 2010


Our State Parks are in peril
August 2010


Club working for passage of environmental bills in State Legislature

Help the environment by lobbying in Sacramento

Ballot Propositions June 2010

June Primary 2010 candidate endorsements

2009

Vote NO on Measure I Preserve Mission Trail Park
October 2009


Measure G would give home rule to Carmel Valley
October 2009


Re-elect Judi Lehman
October 2009


Mark Stone appointed to Coastal Commission
October 2009


Lobby Day in Sacramento was fantastic!
October 2009



2008

Hazardous chemicals to be kept out of toys
December 2008


Sierra Club report card rates State legislators
December 2008


November 2008 ballot measures

November 2008 candidate endorsements

Vote NO on Measure Z
October 2008


Sierra Club supports Prop 1A
October 2008


Prop 2 would reduce Pollution from chicken factories
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 4
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 7
October 2008


Vote NO on Prop 10
October 2008


Lobby Day 2008

Priority Bills for 2008

June 3rd 2008 ballot measures

Lobby Day 2008


Vote YES on Prop 93
January 2008


Keep the Green Team in Sacramento
December 2007


2007 legislative session achieves progress
December 2007


Sierra Club opposes electoral initiative
December 2007


Yes on Prop 93
December 2007



2007

Measure C bad for kit fox

If Measure C passes, get ready for gridlock and water scarcity
April 2007


Monterey Co. Measures A & C
April 2007


2005

Drinkard not confirmed to Board of Forestry; Governor substitutes unqualified candidate

Sam Farr gets Congress to recycle

Governor’s performance on the environment mixed